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microsoft cab files opener

How to convert, open, extract CAB files

Free CAB opener, extractor software for Windows and Linux
Free utility to work with CAB format extraction






Work with CAB files

PeaZip offers read-only support (open and extract cab files) for Microsoft Cabinet file format, providing a free alternative utility to open (list content) and extract .cab packages, or disassemble single files from the container, under Windows and Linux operating systems. The software can also be used to convert CAB files to any other write-supported format (i.e. re-pack existing Cabinet file into zip, 7z, etc).

free cab files opener

Create / update CAB files

PeaZip support for CAB files is read-only (limited to work as  cab viewer / reader and extractor), the application cannot write to .cab format to create a new package or to edit an existing one.

How to convert CAB files

To convert CAB files into another archive format, Convert button extracts and then re-pack the output into any write-supported format (7z, arc, pea, tar, zip...)

free cab files extractor

Open CAB files

To open cab files in PeaZip, and view, browse, and search content inside the archive:

  • open cab file with double click on the archive, if file extension is associated with the PeaZip (default)
  • if cab file type is not associated with PeaZip, right-click on the archive and use system context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file associations. Once opened, cab container's content can be "unzipped", or inspected to verify / select desired content to be extracted

Extract CAB files

Extract CAB file from the system

  • Select one or more MS CABINET files and use context menu entry "Extract..." to display extraction screen, to set output path and other cab extraction options

  • Select one or more archives and use context menu entry Extract here or Extract here (to new folder) for quick cab extraction with no further confirmation

To extract CAB files within PeaZip free archiver
  • Extract button shows archive extraction screen providing access to all options and can send to extraction selected items only

  • Extract all to... button activate a simplified dialog asking for 'unzip' output path only

  • As simpler alternative, drag & drop to decompress desired objects from the application to the system

cab files extraction utility

Previw files inside CAD containers
Doubleclick on an archived file to open it in preview mode, i.e. to inspect its content before considering the need for real extraction

Read more about how to extract archive files and how to extract selected content from archive.

Work with codesigned CAB files

PeaZip can manage codesigned CAB files as usual (browse and extract); when working on such containers Test function will inform user there is data (the codesigning data) after the end of the archive area.

CAB file extension

CAB extension designates Microsoft Cabinet format, a compressed archive / package standard developed by Microsoft, employing various compression algorithms standards including public domain Phil Katz's Deflate (default compressor algorithm for .zip format and GZ files), to create various types of compressed packages used for multiple purposes, such as distribution of software components and updates.

CAB file format features, specifications

.CAB extension is associated to PeaZip by default, from read-supported formats group in File associations screen of Windows installers. This option can be selected/deselected running custom installation or from application's main menu Options > System integration

CAB packages role featured for Microsoft Windows world is similar to some extent to TAR format in Unix/Linux world, or to functions later performed by Microsoft's WIM Windows Imaging Format (supported by PeaZip for extraction and archiving) for Vista and more recent systems - still, CAB format works with more recent Microsoft ssystems.

Maximum size limit specs for CAB files

CAB format is limited to a max size of 2 GB, 2^31 bytes in size (signed 32 bit integer for filesize), theoretically a spanned CAB set of files allows up to 2^16 parts of 2 GB maximum size each. To overcome limitations of CAB package format specifications, Microsoft designed the more modern WIM Windows Imaging format.

Read more on .cab extension: Microsoft Cabinet formatMicrosoft CAB standard specifications page on MSDN, CABMS Cabinet file .cab format Wikipedia page, and WIMWhat is Windows Imaging Format archive format specifications on Microsoft Technet.

PeaZip features read-only support for CAB files, allowing opening for browsing/inspection, selective content extraction from CABINET file container, and to convert cab files to other archive formats (ZIP, 7Z, etc) more handy to work with in a non-Windows or mixed Operating Systems environment.

cab file extension




Author Microsoft
2 GB max file size (per part)

SPEED Microsoft CAB format

CAB format features usually high speed, due commonly employing Deflate, suited to its primary role of package distribution.

COMPRESSION RATIO cab format specs

Cab file format features usually moderate compression ratio, in most common cases CAB packages comes with fast but moderate Deflate compression.

CAB file type is usually employed as distribution for software packages, cannot be evaluated in terms of pure archiving options.

Synopsis: How to use PeaZip as free CAB opener, extractor software for Windows and Linux. Free utility to work with CAB format extraction (read only support). How to convert, open, extract (unzip) CAB files. What is Microsoft CAB package files extension, specs and features.

Topics: open cab files, extract content from cab packages, Microsoft Cabinet format specs

PeaZip > FAQ > Free CAB software: convert, open, extract CAB files


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